Church group fights hunger


Volunteers from a local church group teamed up last weekend with Kids Against Hunger to package and ship more than 10,000 meals, which will be sent to needy locations around the world and the Mobridge Minesterial Association Thrift Store in Mobridge.

The effort has its origins in Port Au Prince Haiti. Selby first grade teacher Marie Nash was volunteering at a shelter following devastating earthquakes in 2010. More than 300,000 were killed and 1 million made homeless. The shaken country had to turn to aid shelters for all but the most basic needs, but foreign aid often couldn’t meet the great needs of the struggling country. The shelter Nash worked in ran out of food.

“It was a terrible experience to have to turn those children away with no food,” said Nash. “I hated seeing that happen.”

After coming back to the states, Nash said she wanted to do her part to ensure this never happened again. She got in contact

with St. John’s Lutheran Church in Selby and together with St. Johns Pastor Dale Hamre and the church community, they looked at what they could do to help. In researching the problem, a solution was found in Kids Against Hunger (KAH.) KAH is a satellite operation with nearly 90 satellites in the U.S. The nearest location is in Aberdeen. Unable to bring their volunteers to Aberdeen, KAH decided to ship the food to Mobridge.

A three-day church retreat was planned and more than 30 volunteers came together to package the food. Food from KAH is shipped in bulk quantities. The group was shipped rice, dried vegetables, dried chicken stock and soy, all equaling a balanced mea

l. They package the meals into individual meal packets, which are loaded onto pallets and shipped out.

The volunteers worked in the gymnasium of Sacred Word Lutheran Church. Bags of food lined the walls and filled containers laid out on tables. Volunteers measured amounts from each container and emptied the contents into a bag, which is sealed and loaded onto a pallete. 800 meals from the church camp will go to the Mobridge Ministerial Association to provide aid to local families and the rest will go to Africa, Haiti and various other countries in need of food aid.

Leanne Haar, of the New Hope, Minn. KAH satellite said more than 2 million meals are provided to global locations from vol

unteer efforts like this. Nash will make a second trip to Haiti this year, bringing meals packaged from this effort with her to Port Au Prince.

-Stuart Hughes-

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